Tuesday, April 2, 2019

Lemon Dill Sauce

We have Salmon at least once a week and I'm always looking for new recipes to change it up.  Today I basically sauteed the salmon in olive oil sprinkled with salt and pepper.  I kept it simple because I made this decadent lemon dill sauce to drizzle over the salmon.  This sauce is delicious, not only for salmon but I can't wait to try it on cod, chicken, and asparagus.  I'm going to have to grow some dill!  Thanks to Robyn at Add a Pinch for the recipe.  Check out her blog, so many great recipes.


  • 2 cloves garlic minced 
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine or chicken stock (I used chicken broth)
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice (If using wine I would cut lemon juice to 1 tablespoon)
  • 3 tablespoons chopped FRESH dill
  • 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 cup HEAVY cream
  • 3 tablespoons butter, divided  
  • pinch cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper


  • Add garlic, wine or chicken stock, lemon juice, and dill to a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil and boil for about 2 minutes. Reduce heat and whisk in mustard and heavy cream. Continue to cook on a slow boil until it reduced and thickens (about 10-15 minutes), making sure to whisk often. Turn heat to simmer and Whisk in butter pieces one at a time. Add cayenne pepper, salt, and pepper.
  • Serve: drizzle on salmon, cod, chicken or asparagus.
        Yield: about 3/4 cup                                                       

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Basic Creamy Tomato Soup with Parmesan Crisp

I LOVE tomato soup and have been looking for a basic recipe.  Well, I found one from Chrissy Teigen's newest cookbook, "Cravings, Hungry For More".  The recipe is so basic that I usually have all the ingredients on hand so this recipe will be my go-to tomato soup.  In the summer I can see adding fresh basil when I can pick it fresh from my herb garden but now in the winter, it's perfect as is.  I usually make a grilled cheese sandwich to go along with tomato soup but these parmesan crisps are a perfect pairing.  They are delicate, crispy and so flavorful that I didn't even miss my usual grilled cheese sandwich!
Thanks, Chrissy!  Every recipe that I've made from your cookbooks have been delicious!

Servings: 4

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 (28 oz) can of whole peeled tomatoes in juice, roughly chopped (use kitchen shears to cut the tomatoes right in the can)
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt 
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  1. If making Parmesan Crisp preheat the oven 375.  In a large saucepan or dutch oven, heat the oil over medium heat.  Add the onion and cook, stirring, about 10 minutes until translucent and slightly golden.  Add the garlic and cook an additional minute.

  2. Add the tomatoes, including the juice, along with the broth, sugar, salt, and pepper.  Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer gently until liquid reduces slightly about 15 minutes.  Remove from stove and using an emulsion blender, blend until smooth.  Add the cream and blend a few seconds more.  Taste and season with more salt and pepper if needed.

  3. ***If using a blender or food processor, let soup cool slightly before pouring soup mixture into a blender (or food processor) and puree for 1-2 minutes until smooth.  ***Make sure to start out SLOW and leave a little vent so steam can escape from the blender.  Add the cream and blend for 10 seconds more.  Taste and see if it needs more salt or pepper.
  4. Divide the soup among bowls and serve with the Parmesan crisps.
*Adapted slightly from Chrissy Teigen's Cookbook,  "Cravings, Hungry for More".  

Parmesan Crisp

Ingredient:  Finely Grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese (use the real cheese not can) 

1 heaping tablespoon for every crisp.

*I could eat a whole pan of these but I'd say two per person is probably good.

Prepare the parmesan crisps while soup is cooking.  Place a piece of parchment paper on a cookie sheet.  Take a heaping tablespoon of grated Parmesan and place on the parchment paper, patting it down slightly to about a 3-4" circle.  
Bake in the oven for about 10-13 minutes, until melted and slightly turning brown (they will crisp up upon cooling).  Remove from the oven and let sit for 3-4 minutes, until crisp and easily removed from the sheet.  

Friday, January 11, 2019

Hamburger Soup

 My Dad is known to make the best soup.  I wish I could get his recipes but he doesn't use any, he just adds a little this and a little that and it always turns out so good.  I, on the other hand, need a recipe.  I also need to measure everything, otherwise, recipes just don't turn out for me.  I've made this soup a few times and haven't changed a thing.   It's not my Dads soup but it's delicious.  It's packed full of veggies and it's flavorful.  
It takes a while to prep everything but once the meat is browned it all goes into the pot to cook.

2 lbs. ground beef (chuck)
1 cup chopped onion (1 medium)
1 cup chopped celery (2 stalks)
1 cup sliced carrots (2 medium)
1 cup sliced zucchini (1 small)
1 cup chopped cabbage 
2 small potatoes, diced (peel if desired) (I like to use Yukon gold or new red potatoes)
1 15-oz. can petite diced tomatoes
6 cups beef broth (Have extra broth on hand to thin out soup if needed) 
1/3 cup pearl barley
1/4 tsp. garlic powder 
1 1/2 tsp. salt, to taste
1/2 tsp. oregano
1/2 tsp. freshly ground pepper
1/4 tsp. rubbed sage
1 1/2 tsp. Penzey's Old World Seasoning (optional)
In a large stockpot, brown the ground chuck, stirring frequently to break it up, about 10 minutes. Drain well. Add the remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for about an hour or until the vegetables have softened.
*The leftovers will need some extra broth as it's gets soaked up by the barley.

Serves: 12
Soup can be easily halved if you only need 6 servings.

Thursday, January 10, 2019

My favorite Granola

I have to update my go-to granola recipe as I've made a couple of changes by adding more nuts and coconut.  This is one recipe that when we finish a batch I make another.  We love this granola, it's loaded with nuts and coconut, crunchy and has a touch of maple flavor.  I adapted the recipe from the blog Sally's Baking Addiction.  Check it out, her food photography makes you want to make every one of her recipes.

My favorite way to eat this granola is mixed into my favorite yogurt, Noosa.  It's thick and perfectly sweet with yummy flavors like mango, peach, blueberry, strawberry rhubarb, and coconut to name a few.  It's pricey compared to other yogurt brands but it's so worth it.  It's larger in size, 8oz so it keeps me full until lunch.

Combine the maple syrup, brown sugar, coconut oil, cinnamon, and salt.
Add the oatmeal and nuts, then gently fold in the coconut chips
Spread onto baking sheet and bake 30-40 minutes until golden brown.


  • 1/2 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 Tbsp melted coconut oil
  • 3/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats (not instant)
  • 1 1/4 cups nuts, chopped coarsely (any combo that you like) pecans, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, sliced almonds
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut  chips (optional)
  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
  2. Combine the maple syrup, brown sugar, melted coconut oil, cinnamon, and salt.
  3. Add the oats and nuts: stir until all the oats are evenly coated.  Fold in the coconut so not to break up the fragile coconut chips.
  4. Spread onto baking sheet and bake for 30-40 minutes (until the moisture is gone and granola is golden brown), stirring every 10 minutes. Watch carefully at the end, not to over bake. 
  5. Allow to cool completely and enjoy!


Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Homemade Croutons

I was never a crouton lover until I started making them at home.  Homemade croutons are the easiest thing to make and so much better than store bought.  No bread goes to waste as I make these golden, crunchy nuggets for our daily salads.  Now that fall weather is here I can't wait to make some tomato soup for these croutons!

Today I used sourdough but I use whatever bread I have.  

 Here's my basic recipe but you can get creative with different seasoning.  Also, if you are using more or less cubed bread, the ratio of butter/bread is about 1/2 tablespoon melted butter to 1 cup bread cubes.  Day old bread will need a little more melted butter.


8 cups cubed bread (fresh or day old)
4-6 tablespoons melted butter (use more for day old)
1/4  teaspoon garlic salt 


1. Preheat over to 300 degrees.  2. Spread bread cubes on a cookie sheet in a single layer.
3. Drizzle melted butter over and sprinkle garlic salt, toss lightly and again spread cubes in a single layer.
4.  Bake, stirring croutons every 10 minutes, for a total of 30-40* minutes until they are golden and crispy.
5. Cool and store croutons in an air­tight container or ziplock bag.  Will store for about 2 weeks.

Notes:  *Baking time will vary depending on the type of bread. 

Monday, October 8, 2018

The Ultimate Dinner Party

Saturday evening Kevin and I along with our friends Tony and Margaret hosted a dinner at my house.  It wasn't an ordinary dinner party where I'm usually slaving in the kitchen, making a huge mess and stressing to get everything done before the guest arrive.  No, this was so different and wonderful!  Chef Mark and Brian of Vignette (dining club) came to my house to prepare a 5-course dining experience for 8.  How this all came to be was through a fundraiser,  Stand Up and Sing for Kids (Dane County CASA and Canopy Center).  We love to support and donate to this wonderful organization helping strengthen families and support children impacted by trauma and adversity.  We didn't even win the bid but Chef Mark and Brian were so gracious to give two dinner parties.  Lucky us, because it was amazing.  Thanks to Chef Mark and Brian, you guys sure know how to throw a dinner party and gave us all an evening to remember.  It was fun having you hang out in my kitchen.  You're welcome anytime!

Wine Pairing for each course.

Local Meat and cheese from Bavaria Sausage

          Tony & Margaret
          Ed and MaryAnn
          Megan & Ryan
          Kevin and Dawn

      Chef Mark and Brian

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As wonderful as dinner was, one of the highlights for me was Mark and Brian washed all the dishes and left my kitchen spotless!  THANKS!!